A continental perspective on the timing of environmental change during the last glacial stage in Australia

Type Article
Date 2021-07
Language English
Author(s) Cadd HaideeORCID1, 2, 3, Petherick Lynda4, Tyler Jonathan1, Herbert Annika5, Cohen Tim J2, 6, Sniderman Kale2, 7, Barrows Timothy T.6, 8, Fulop Reka H.6, 9, Knight Jasper5, Kershaw A. Peter10, Colhoun Eric A.11, Harris Mathew R.P.3, 12
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Earth Sciences and Sprigg Geobiology Centre, University of Adelaide, SA, Australia
2 : ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
3 : Earth and Sustainability Research Centre (ESSRC), School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
4 : School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
5 : School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
6 : School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
7 : School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
8 : School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
9 : Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, New Illawarra Rd, Lucas Heights NSW 2234, Australia
10 : School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, VIC, Australia
11 : School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
12 : School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Keele University, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Source Quaternary Research (0033-5894) (Cambridge University Press (CUP)), 2021-07 , Vol. 102 , P. 5-23
DOI 10.1017/qua.2021.16
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) Last glacial maximum, MIS 2, MIS 3, Pollen, Palaeoclimate, Monte-Carlo change point, Age uncertainty
Abstract

The timing and duration of the coldest period in the last glacial stage, often referred to as the last glacial maximum (LGM), has been observed to vary spatially and temporally. In Australia, this period is characterised by colder, and in some places more arid, climates than today. We applied Monte-Carlo change point analysis to all available continuous proxy records covering this period, primarily pollen records, from across Australia (n = 37) to assess this change. We find a significant change point occurred (within uncertainty) at 28.6 ± 2.8 ka in 25 records. We interpret this change as a shift to cooler climates, associated with a widespread decline in biological productivity. An additional change point occurred at 17.7 ± 2.2 ka in 24 records. We interpret this change as a shift towards warmer climates, associated with increased biological productivity. We broadly characterise the period between 28.6 (± 2.8) – 17.7 (± 2.2) ka as an extended period of maximum cooling, with low productivity vegetation that may have occurred as a combined response to reduced temperatures, lower moisture availability and atmospheric CO2. These results have implications for how the spatial and temporal coherence of climate change, in this case during the LGM, can be best interrogated and interpreted.

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Cadd Haidee, Petherick Lynda, Tyler Jonathan, Herbert Annika, Cohen Tim J, Sniderman Kale, Barrows Timothy T., Fulop Reka H., Knight Jasper, Kershaw A. Peter, Colhoun Eric A., Harris Mathew R.P. (2021). A continental perspective on the timing of environmental change during the last glacial stage in Australia. Quaternary Research, 102, 5-23. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1017/qua.2021.16 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00694/80579/